“Bejeweled” is an over-the-top, comedic retelling of “Cinderella.”
“I was thinking about midnights, the concept, and I was like, ‘Where do we hear about midnights a lot?’ We hear about it a lot when we talk about the Cinderella fairytale,” Swift explained during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“And so I was like, what if we did a little twist on ‘A Cinderella Story’ and I could cast my friends?” she added.
The evil step-sisters are played by Swift’s best friends, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim — otherwise known as the rock band HAIM.
The sisters verbally abuse Swift, just as they do in the original fairytale. Danielle even calls her a “snake” as a callback to Swift’s public feud with Kim Kardashian.
On July 17, 2016, which happened to be “National Snake Day,” Kardashian shared a secret recording of a phone call between Swift and Kardashian’s then-husband Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). This encouraged critics to call Swift a “snake,” which later inspired Swift to adopt snakes as her personal sigil during her “Reputation” era.
The evil “stepmommy” is played by Oscar-winning actress Laura Dern.
Dern’s portrayal of Cinderella’s infamous stepmother is appropriately rude and materialistic. She shows off her two hands full of rings and pokes fun at Swift’s last name.
She also commands Swift to stay quiet by declaring, “Speak not, tired tacky wench” — dropping the video’s first clear hint about “Speak Now.”
Fans are anxiously awaiting “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” the rerecording of her third studio album, which was released in 2010 and entirely self-written.
If “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” were to come next, it would be Swift’s third rerecorded album release, following “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version).”
During this opening scene, an instrumental version of “Enchanted” is playing in the background.
“Enchanted” is a fan-favorite track on “Speak Now” that includes a lyrical connection to Swift’s “Midnights” era: “The lingering question kept me up / 2 a.m., who do you love? / I wonder ’til I’m wide awake.”
Swift glances at a portrait of Jack Antonoff as the prince, surrounded by cats.
“Midnights is a wild ride of an album and I couldn’t be happier that my co pilot on this adventure was Jack Antonoff,” Swift told fans upon the album’s release.
“He’s my friend for life (presumptuous I know but I stand by it) and we’ve been making music together for nearly a decade,” she continued. “However, this is our first album we’ve done with just the two of us as main collaborators.”
Swift receives a magical pocket watch that has a countdown to the end of her exile.
This is a likely reference to “Exile,” the fourth track on “Folklore,” as well as Swift’s return to the public eye after she made “Reputation.”
The numbers visible on the watch could also be revealing more information about “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” When she opens it, there’s a “3” which could be a nod to the album itself. It then drops to “2” as the clock reads 12.
The numbers “12” and “2” could potentially mean that the rerecorded album will be released on Friday, December 2 — although this is just an educated guess as Swift has yet to make any official announcement. A December release date would be fitting for it, though, as the album contains the hit single “Back to December.”
This hooded look calls back to the “…Ready For It?” and “Willow” music videos.
Both songs contain lyrics that connect to the “sleepless nights” theme of “Midnights.”
“In the middle of the night, in my dreams / You should see the things we do, baby,” Swift sings in the pre-chorus of “…Ready For It?”
“Wait for the signal, and I’ll meet you after dark,” she sings in the third verse of “Willow.”
It also recalls a famous outfit from Swift’s “Reputation” tour, possibly hinting that she’s ready to get back on the road.
During her “Tonight Show” appearance on Tuesday night, Swift heavily implied that she’s gearing up to announce tour dates for “Midnights.” It would be her first time on the road since the Reputation Stadium Tour in 2017.
“I think I should do it,” Swift told Fallon. “When it’s time, we’ll do it. I miss it.”
Swift’s bejeweled necklace could also be an Easter egg.
The necklace is most likely a reference to the “Bejeweled Bracelet” that Swift is currently selling in her online store.
It could also be a nod to a lyric in “So It Goes…” (“Wear you like a necklace”) or “My Tears Ricochet” (“You wear the same jewels that I gave you / As you bury me”).
Swift’s “Fairy Goddess” is portrayed by Dita Von Teese, the legendary burlesque dancer.
Cinderella’s typical “Fairy Godmother” is reimagined as a “Fairy Goddess,” who drapes Swift in diamonds and teaches her to dance inside giant cocktail glasses, paying homage to Von Teese’s trademark ’40s performance style.
This outfit is reminiscent of the “Wildest Dreams” music video.
In “Wildest Dreams,” Swift plays a classic Hollywood actress in the ’50s who falls in love with her costar.
Swift’s makeup in this scene illustrates the lyric, “Sapphire tears on my face.”
Tiny blue gemstones can be seen under Swift’s eyes while she begins to sing the bridge.
Swift’s performance at the ball leans heavily on clock imagery.
Swift has leaned on a clock motif throughout the rollout for “Midnights.” In fact, the set design for this scene is nearly identical to the illustrations in the lyric video for “Mastermind.”
The clock hand is also pointing to three, which could be another “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” Easter egg or a nod to “Midnights (3am Edition),” the name of the album’s deluxe version.
Pat McGrath makes a brief cameo as the queen, flanked by portraits of Zoë Kravitz and Sam Dew.
In 2020, McGrath became the first makeup artist to receive a damehood from the British royal family. In Swift’s thank-you notes for the music video, she called McGrath a “genius and actual dame.”
Kravitz and Dew are both credited as cowriters on Swift’s song “Lavender Haze,” the opening track on “Midnights,” alongside Swift herself, Antonoff, Jahaan Akil Sweet, and Mark Anthony Spears.
The duo’s inclusion in the “Bejeweled” video could point to another music video for “Lavender Haze” on the horizon.
Swift’s hairclips have the initials “S” and “N,” once again pointing to “Speak Now.”
After Swift leaves the prince and changes into her yellow gown, the clips also change to bear her own initials, “T” and “S.”
Swift’s character gets a proposal from the prince, but “she ghosted” — a possible nod to “Anti-Hero.”
“When my depression works the graveyard shift, all of the people / I’ve ghosted stand there in the room,” Swift sings in “Anti-Hero,” the lead single from “Midnights.”
The final scene is almost certainly a reference to the “Love Story” music video.
In “Love Story,” Swift’s character ends up with her prince charming. But in “Bejeweled,” Swift leaves the prince behind and keeps the castle.
As the camera zooms out, an instrumental version of “Long Live” can be heard in the background, the final track on the standard edition of “Speak Now.”
Swift also used to soar over her audiences on the Speak Now World Tour in a Juliet balcony while performing “Love Story” at the end of each show.